Creator/showrunner/executive producer Jeffrey Paul King joined director Kat Candler and stars Stella Baker and Luke Mitchell to tease the new CW drama and discuss how its depictions of community can resonate with pandemic-striken audiences.
“Everything comes from a place of compassion and kindness and it feels so necessary and needed now,” said Candler. “That is something I love so much about this show.”
Faced with the destruction of her town at the hands of a greedy mining company, rebellious high school history teacher Sarah Cooper (Baker) utilizes an obscure cartographical loophole to declare independence. Now she must lead a young group of misfits as they attempt to start their own country from scratch.
The Republic of Sarah cast, which also includes Ian Duff, Hope Lauren and Nia Holloway, touted the drama’s far-from-perfect characters. Unlike a slew of other characters that inhabit The CW’s programming slate, the citizens of Greylock don’t have superpowers that help them save their town – instead they must rely on their ambition to inspire change in their community, Holloway said.
“Most change happens in real life the way it happens in the show,” she said of the on-screen community efforts.
When speaking about his original story, King linked the situations of The Republic of Sarah to the early days of America, noting that it was just ordinary people who eventually created the nation. Baker added that the series grounds itself on the human actions of its characters and seeks to redefine what exactly “extraordinary” can mean.
“Everyone’s ordinary until you just try to do a thing – a thing that’s not been done before,” she said. “That’s really what the show is – it’s not about being extraordinary, it’s just about standing by something and fighting for it.
The show’s grounded approach to inspiring change in one’s community, however wasn’t the only aspect to making the series one to which audiences can relate. King and Candler explained that the series’ punk aesthetic also makes the drama feel more realistic.
Unlike other series that feature characters in polished clothing and new, glamorous outfits every episode, The Republic of Sarah takes a less “glossy” approach to storytelling, King said.
“It felt like something I would like to watch on TV. TV, as we all know, can be sometimes be very glossy and perfect and I think it’s hard for viewers to see themselves in that when characters are in 7-inch stilettos,” he said. “Our characters are real people.”
The Republic of Sarah team closed off the panel by teasing what’s in store for the series’ freshman season. They listed heartbreak, touching teenage stories, and “just so many mistakes.”